Today we are going back in time to Wednesday night when I made the stressful pork dish. If you look at the lovely plate of dinner by the pork recipe you will notice a pile of greasy un-photogenic something or another that I have blown up and added to the top of this post. What on earth is that stuff that looks so unappealing in the photo? It happens to be one of the best things in the world that you will ever put into your mouth. Once you eat these, you’ll never want to eat normal oven roasted potatoes again.
Here in Santa Barbara there is a Greek festival put on by the local Greek Orthodox Church at the end of July. The wonderful people of the church have put together a book of recipes called “The Greek Feast Santa Barbara Style”. I use this book a lot although I have to admit that a good editor would have done this book a world of good. If you are lucky enough to acquire a copy of this book, be forewarned that you may have to make changes to the recipes. For instance there is a wonderful spanikopita recipe that omits telling you what to do with the fresh spinach. The recipe in the book for the potatoes is called “Baked Potatoes Riganates”. I’m sure this recipe is written correctly but I have found that instead of using 6 large potatoes, I can only fit about 4 in my largest roasting pan. Also, they call for a cup of vegetable oil; I have decreased the oil to ½ a cup and use olive oil instead. A can of chicken broth is usually shy of the 2 cups needed so I dilute what I have with water to make the 2 cups. These potatoes are lemony and crispy and oh so good!!
Baked Potatoes Riganates
Adapted from the Greek Feast Santa Barbara Style by the Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, CA
4 large potatoes (or more) peeled, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into wedges
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
2 cups chicken broth (if the can is shy of two cups add water to make a full 2 cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the potato wedges in a single layer to cover an entire metal roasting pan. Use the largest roasting pan you can find so that you can make as many potatoes as possible! Mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano with a fork or small whisk. Mix until emulsified. Pour this dressing over the potatoes; making sure it is drizzled over all of the potatoes. Add chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Place potatoes in the oven and bake for two hours. During the last hour of baking, check the potatoes, if they seem to be getting too dry and they start to burn, add more water to the pan. The potatoes will soak up the liquid as they cook which makes them soft and tender on the inside, you do want the liquid to evaporate off during the last 20 minutes so make sure you don’t add too much water if you feel you have to add it at all. Toward the end of the baking, the potatoes will become crispy on the edges. Your goal is to have them soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside.